As a fan of Orioles history, I’ve been somewhat remiss in not posting a link to The Sun’s “Catching Up With” series that appears on the paper’s Toy Department blog. No longer.
The latest “Catching Up With” article tracks down Gary Roenicke, a current O’s scout and former platoon left fielder, who offers some comments of interest.
Consider his thoughts on platooning, which reflect just how gracious Luke Scott has been about his own shifting prospects in left field since the season started. Face it: No one likes to platoon, but some guys accept it for what it is and make the best of the circumstance.
Publicly, Roenicke shrugged off his part-time role.
“How can you argue when you’re winning?” he said. “But if I could change anything, I probably would have asked why I didn’t play a little more.”
Scott doesn’t have the benefit of winning, but he still hasn’t argued, and he has produced.
Also enjoyable is Roenicke’s subtle – but completely honest – jab at the Yankees.
His best memory of Baltimore? The unity of the ’79 team that lost the World Series to Pittsburgh, 4 games to 3.
“We really were family,” he said. “That should have been our song, not the Pirates’. There were no fights, no shouting matches. On off days, our families went out together.
“As players, we all knew our roles. We might not have liked it, but we respected it. Talk about chemistry, well, we had it. You don’t have to have chemistry to win – the Yankees have proven that – but we had it.”
Roenicke was among my favorite players as a kid if only because I had my picture taken with him at an Orioles baseball clinic at Memorial Stadium. He was among a cast of likable characters from the O’s teams of the early ’80s including Floyd Rayford, who was the subject of last week’s “Catching Up With” article.
Roenicke played eight seasons in Baltimore, during which time he batted .250 with 106 home runs, and 352 RBIs in 850 games.